Getting the chance to work with start up brands is an amazing feeling. We’re literally taking someone’s thoughts, and bringing it to reality. We absolutely love it. Sometimes entrepreneurs have amazing ideas, but don’t understand what comes with having a strong brand. They recognize the link between successful businesses and strong branding and aspire to build a brand that emulates similar success for themselves, but there is sometimes still a disconnect for start-ups. One thing we try to educate business owners on is that branding is just as important for start ups as it is for larger companies. Indeed, many corporate brands try to look more like start ups in order to appeal to consumers that prefer to support independent brands.
“Branding is not just a logo or how your business is perceived externally. The heart of a successful business is it’s brand.” – Jesse Alex
Branding is a way of defining your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences. It could be called the business’ “identity”, but only on the understanding that it embodies the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks and sounds like. Below are 8 ways to help establish yourself as a start up brand, thank us later 🙂
1. Define your brand.
Review what it is that your brand offers, pinpoint the space in the market it occupies and research the needs and concerns of your potential customers. Your brand character should promote your business, connect with your customer base and differentiate you in the market.
2. Build long-term relationships with your customers.
Create trust with honest branding. Be clear who you are and be true to those values each & every day. This will help you build a long lasting relationship with everyone you work with.
3. Be innovative, stand for what you believe in.
Big brands are overwhelmed by large layers of bureaucracy, preventing them from being flexible and reacting to the ever-changing needs of their customers and the market. Those layers of decision-makers can make it extremely hard for them to be daring with their branding.
4. Don’t over saturate yourself.
The future of branding is fluid, simple, and engaging. Respect your customers’ intelligence by not giving everything away up front. Generate some intrigue and allow them to unearth more about your brand for themselves. This is the way to encourage ambassadors who love telling other people what they have discovered.
5. Don’t copy the competition.
There is a huge consumer trend towards independent establishments, and several chains are in fact trying to mimic an independent feel to capture some of that market. Truly independent operators can leverage their status to attract customers who are looking for something more original and authentic, that aligns with how they feel about themselves. It creates an organic relationship between you and the customer.
6. Stay true to your brand’s core values
When a company defines its brand strategy it also defines its value proposition, brand promise and brand personality traits. It is significant that everyone in the company understands these traits and practices them. Every employee should embody those traits and deliver on the company’s promises. This will strengthen the company’s competitive advantage in the market.
7. Give, give, give!
A great way to help your brand is to educate your customers. Share your knowledge and give free advice. When you educate and teach, people will appreciate you and look up to you as a leader and a mentor. Give before getting and your brand will build with raving customers in no time. Customers will help your brand, and word of mouth is by far the best referral your brand can get.
8. Commit to blogging
If you’re a thought leader in your industry, spread your insights with those around you on your blog. You’ll be surprised at the types of opportunities that will come your way. It’s an amazing networking tool because it allows people to get to know you on a larger scale.